Publisher: Katarr Kanticles Press
Publication Date: August 7, 2010
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Born to the finer things in life, Amethyst finds her comfortable world turned upside down when she seeks to discover the truth about her sister’s disappearance.
Chase is a Weren and the one of the many dangers she expected to find but was ill-prepared to deal with. He is the one who can help her find the answers she seeks; yet accepting his help comes at a cost.
The Deadlands are a hard unforgiving territory, filled with terrifying creatures eager to prey on anything softer and weaker than they are. Amethyst’s sister Pearl was last seen heading into the Deadlands with her new fiancé, a religious zealot intent on starting a personal settlement with a caravan of his believers there. Weeks later, no one’s heard from the caravan or Pearl, so Amethyst’s mounted her own, fairly pitiful search party – three of her friends from home who wouldn’t let her travel by herself but are more suited to balls and tea parties. Ever sensible, she knows she needs strong guides and she sees them when a group of Weren show up at the inn where she and her friends are staying.
Chase and his three pack mates are looking for warm beds and something to eat when they ride into Adersol. Prejudice between humans and Weren runs strong, so it’s a surprise when Amethyst asks them to guide her group into the Deadlands – and when she invites them into her circle of friends and treats them as equals. Chase is especially intrigued by her, admiring her intelligence, spirit and beauty.
This was a bit different than I expected, but in a good way. The paranormal elements took a backseat to the storytelling and relationships – they were there and used once in a while to emphasize a plot point or to move things along, but they weren’t the basis of the story. Now I’m going to be perverse and say that one of the things that bothered me a little was that I could have used more descriptions of some of those paranormal things. While one of my pet peeves is descriptive info-dump, I didn’t have much of a mental image of some things. There really isn’t a specific time established for the story, but it felt a lot like a late 1800′s western so I could imagine most of the normal things.
The relationship between Chase and Amethyst is very sweet and built on respect the two have for each other. There’s almost no physical contact between the two for the majority of the story, but there didn’t need to be – the romance was in the way they talked to each other, the little physical gestures they made toward each other and the way the usually guarded and tough Chase started to fall in love with Amethyst. Amethyst makes a great Western heroine – tough, ready to get dirty and not afraid to do anything for Chase.
There’s a nice supporting group of characters here too – Chase’s Weren pack is a lot of fun, acting very much like a group of brothers who like to play jokes on each other and fight but also love each other and would do anything for one another. Amethyst’s group of friends turned out to not be as helpless as they originally seemed and in particular, Sally and Peter ended up shining.
My Summary: This was a very romantic story with lots of adventure, a bad guy and a lesson about prejudice. The main characters were instantly likable and from the start I was waiting for the two of them to figure out how to get together. I confess to wanting a little more than a G-rated version of their relationship, but I still left the story happy.
My Rating: B